Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH
Ever wonder how a drug that is very expensive can be advertised on television to patients for a very small price tag? Doesn’t it seem like the Trintellix coupon offer is to good to be true?
Rest assured, your instincts are good. Trintellix coupon offers might seem great, but there are some catches you should know about.
What is Trintellix?
Trintellix (vortioxetine) is an oral tablet that works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. Therefore, Trintellix is classified as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, better known as SSRI. While it may have other actions as well it has been lumped into this class of drugs that are widely used to treat depression.
Trintellix is available only with a doctors prescription.
When Trintellix was first released it was given the brand name Brintellix. Due to concerns of confusion between Brintellix and another brand name drug Brilinta, the FDA requested that Takeda the manufacturer change the brand name. since then Brintellix has gone away and the new brand name is Trintellix.
What is Trintellix used for?
Trintellix is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression, also know as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The following are some potential off label uses a doctor might also prescribe Trintellix for. Off label uses are ones that the FDA has NOT approved a drug to be used for.
- Depression associated with Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorder associated with depression
What is the Trintellix coupon?
Most brand name drugs will have a copay coupon available. The coupon will take the copay from whatever the insurance sets it at, and reduce it down to a specific amount set by the manufacturer. An example would be the copay is $150 for brand drugs but the coupon pays $140 of that cost leaving the patient with a small copay of ten dollars.
On the surface the Trintellix coupon sounds great, pay just a few dollars per month. However, beware of a few very important details that could cost big bucks in the long run.
- The higher your income, the higher the amount you will have to pay for each copay. Consequently, not everyone will get the lowest copay and the maximum can be up to one hundred dollars.
- Trintellix coupon has a maximum amount it will pay per year. Currently, it is good for up to $1200 annually.
- Copay coupon savings DO NOT apply toward deductibles.
- All patients who are covered by government insurance are ineligible. Therefore, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and any other government insurance are ineligible.
- Uninsured patients are also not eligible, you can only use the Trintellix coupon WITH insurance
How the Trintellix coupon program works
It is important to understand why Takeda, the manufacturer of Trintellix offers a copay coupon. Here is a quick breakdown on why copay coupons also called savings cards even exist.
High list price
For reasons that are laid out in my book Prescription for Maximum Savings the manufacturer charges a high list price. As a result, the Trintellix list price is approximately $402.85 for a 30 day supply.
PBM Rebates bring the price down for the insurance company
The Pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) who is a middleman cuts a deal with Takeda to obtain the drug at the high list price, but get a big rebate. The rebates are paid in ways that are hard to understand and the whole process is not transparent. The patient never sees any savings from the rebate! Consequently, the high list price doesn’t impact the insurance company because they get a large rebate off that list price.
Insurance companies use rebate savings to keep premiums lower
The PBM keeps some of the rebate and then passes the remainder to the insurance company. Remember, for Trintellix coupons to work you must have insurance! The insurance does not pass the rebate back to you, instead they keep it. This allows them to lower the premium they charge per month for their insurance coverage. Therefore, the insurance company can get more patients on their plan, which makes them more money.
Copay is based off of the list price
Copays are set by the insurance company and are the price the patient must pay out of pocket for each fill of the medication. Often there will be different copay tiers available such as generics, preferred brands and non preferred brands. Brand drug copays keep getting higher and higher. As a result sometimes they are hundreds of dollars per month.
Manufacturers know most patients can’t afford such high copays
Many patients can’t afford to take medications because of the high monthly copay out of pocket cost. Without some type of support the expensive drug would never be picked up at the pharmacy. That is a problem for the manufacturer who wants to sell their product. Also, keep in mind they do get to write off the amount paid out in copay coupons as charitable donations and save on taxes.
Copay coupon helps patients get started on the drug
Trintellix coupon allows patients to start taking the medication because it lowers the cost. After several months it becomes harder for patients to stop taking the medication. For that reason, it is important to remember the maximum amount a coupon is worth per year. Trintellix coupon maximum savings is $1200 per year.
Watch out for accumulators!
Many insurance companies have added a feature called a copay accumulator, because high deducible health plans are becoming more common. This is a fancy term for counting how much of the deductible (or copay) was paid by the patient versus the copay coupon. When accumulators are used any amount paid by the copay coupon will NOT count toward the deductible. See the example below:
- Patient deductible is $1500 per year.
- Trintellix 30 day supply cost is $402.
- Maximum amount paid by Trintellix coupon is $1200 per year.
|Deductible amount remaining||$1490||$1480||$1470||$1089||$687||$285|
As you can see from the table, over the 6 months the patient monthly cost goes from ten dollars to the full $402! This is a major problem with copay coupons because many patient are not aware of this. When the maximum limit is hit and assistance runs out, patients are stuck with the full deductible left to pay.
Steps to take before using Trintellix coupon
#1 Is there a generic form of Trintellix?
Today Trintellix is brand name drug only. The generic, voroxetine can’t be manufactured and sold until the patents expire for trintellix. Lawyers working for Takdeda have been finding new ways to protect the patent. Consequently, Trintellix will not be generically available until 2031.
#2 Are there therapeutic alternatives to Trintellix?
A therapeutic alternative is a drug that had different chemical contents, but has the same effects as other drugs for treating a condition. Trintellix has no generic alternative, but has many therapeutic alternatives. All of these therapeutic alternatives have generics which also means they will be substantially cheaper. Before trying a Trintellix coupon make sure to try one or more of the alternatives listed in the table below.
|Brand name||Generic name|
# 3 Utilize drug discount programs to research alternatives
Drug discount programs are available today in a variety of formats. It is imporant to understand the differences in a drug discount card or app in contrast to the Trintellix coupon. These discount programs negotiate prices with one or all of the following:
- Pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s)
- Drug manufacturers
Most work with pharmacies who want to show up in the search function on the discount programs website or mobile application. Therefore, patients can see a discounted price the pharmacy negotiates with the discount program. Keep in mind these can not be used with insurance, but instead when the negotiated price is better than the price with insurance. Most people would not think the discount price could be better than insurance, but many times it is. A few of the major discount programs available today include:
Trintellix has a high list price and because of that drug discount programs are not going to make the price tag manageable for most people. The best practice is to use drug discount programs to see how much the alternatives to Trintellix (listed in the table above) cost and talk to your doctor about those options.
#4 Is Trintellix covered by insurance?
What can be done if a therapeutic alternative is not an option? Check with your insurance to see if Trintellix is on formulary. According to the manufacturer, 65% of commercially insured patients can get the drug after first trying and failing one of the generics listed above. Similarly, 87% of Medicare Part D patients can get coverage.
Keep in mind that the type of insurance will make a big difference.
- High deductible health plans (HDHP) will have a large deductible that will come from your pocket or the Trintellix coupon.
- Preferred provider organizations (PPO) will have a set copay amount.
Read HDHP vs. PPO to understand more on the differences between these types of insurance.
#5 How much does Trintellix cost with insurance?
The exact cost of Trintellix with insurance will depend on plan setup. A high deductible plan will cost you the entire list price, until the deductible has been met. Once you meet the deductible you may have to pay a coinsurance, or a percentage of the bill typically around 15-20%. Finally, with high deductible health plans there is a maximum out of pocket costs. Once that is reached coinsurance would no longer be due.
In contrast, non high deductible plans may have a copay based on the formulary tier Trintellix is placed in. Copay tiers for brand drugs like Trintellix are typically the highest.
Medicare, Medicaid and Government insurance
The Trintellix coupon can NOT be used for anyone with government insurance. Patients in this situation should apply for Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) if they must take Trintellix.
Medicare also offers the Extra Help subsidy, for lower income people. Everyone on Medicare should check to see if they are eligible. Investigating this costs you nothing and if you are eligible the savings could be huge
#6 Are there samples available?
Before trying any new medication the best practice is to try samples. Brand name drugs will have samples that the manufacturer provides to doctors. Sampling the medication allows a trial where it can be determined if the medication is going to be well tolerated or not. For the best outcome I recommend bullet journaling medication effects.
Trintellix like other depression medications can take four to six weeks to determine if they are working. Ask for enough Trintellix samples to last at least a month.
Samples can allow patients to determine if the drug will be effective and what the side effects are like before spending any money of their own.
#7 Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
In addition to offering the Trintellix coupon, Takeda offers a patient assistance program. The program is designed to help patients take Trintellix at no or low cost.
To be eligible for this assistance patients must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of the United States
- Have no drug coverage via insurance, or
- Be ineligible for federal or sate programs
- Can be enrolled in Medicare Part D
- Income at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Anyone who is close to the 500% FPL level should still apply. The applications are approved on a case by case basis and anyone slightly over that mark could still get assistance.
The Takdeda Help at Hand application can be downloaded here. A doctor must complete the paperwork sign and return to the Takeda. Once received a decision should be reached in 5 to 7 business days. The optimal time to complete the process is after part of the sample period so that when a prescription is required the assistance is available.
State Prescription Assistance Programs (SPAPs)
Some states have there own state pharmaceutical assistance programs that are run by the state. They normally focus on low-income patients and also offer some type of Medicare Part D coverage as the Trintellix coupon program does not apply to Medicare.
A state by state listing of SPAPs can be searched on Medicare.gov.
#8 Prescription Hope
After searching for PAP programs on your own there is one more trick to try before using the Trintellix coupon. Prescription Hope is a service that helps complete PAP paperwork for patients and doctors. That sounds great, why not try them before doing the work yourself?
Here is why…..
Prescription Hope has experts who complete PAP paperwork all day and know about all sorts of different PAPs that exist. However, if you use them they will charge you $50 per month for this service. While that may be a great savings over the true cost of Trintellix, it is still $50 for something you could have done on your own for free.
That is why I recommend, trying to complete the PAP paperwork yourself first. If that doesn’t work out, contact Prescription hope. Because of their knowledge of the process they may find PAP programs even for patients with higher incomes. Finally, Prescription Hope can be used together with your insurance if it would make sense to pay the $50 in addition to copay required by insurance.
#9 How do I get a Trintellix coupon savings card?
After trying the steps mentioned above Trintellix coupon may be the best option because it does lower copay or deductible costs. Once it is confirmed that Trintellix worked and was well tolerated, a coupon can be obtained here.
Takeda claims that 80% of commercially insured patients can get Trintellix for as low as ten dollars per month using the Trintellix coupon. Mail in rebates are also available if you have already paid for a first fill of Trintellix.
Please remember the maximum the Trintellix coupon pays is $1200 per year!
In addition to the coupon Takeda offers a support program free of charge called tAccess. This program offers the following support options for Trintellix patients.
- Support mentor who will call and offer tips for dealing with depression.
- Text messages that are meant to be motivational.
- Emails with answers to common questions heard from depression patients.
Click here to get Dr. Jason Reed’s exclusive list of medication questions you MUST ask your doctor, for FREE!
Share your story
Have you tried Trintellix? Also, please share if it worked for you? Please chime in below with your comments and thoughts.